Final Notes - The Trip

Trip Start Mar 04, 2008
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36
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Trip End Oct 07, 2008


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Flag of Italy  , Lazio,
Monday, October 6, 2008

And I'm back in Vancouver, after a few delayed flights and too many hours spent in terminals (Oct 6th was 35hrs long) and my bags and bike got back a day and a half later. Here goes a couple of wrap up entries..


I'd like to share with the curious ones a few facts and figures on the trip:

Original plan: Italy > Croatia > Slovenia > Hungary > Slovakia > Poland > Czech Republic > Germany > Holland > Belgium > France > Spain > France > Italy (Estimated 10,000km)
        
Actual trip: Italy > Greece > Albania > Montenegro > Croatia > Slovenia > Austria > Slovakia > Hungary > Slovakia > Poland > Sweden > Denmark > Germany > Czech Republic > Germany > Austria > Switzerland > Germany > Holland > Belgium > France > Spain > Italy > France > Italy (11,500km)

Total kilometers traveled: 13,000km    
Total kilometers traveled by bike: 11,500km
Daily Average including rest days: 53km/day
Daily Average not including rest days: 71km/day 
Total days traveled: 217      
Number of days on the saddle: 182     
Highest elevation: 1700m, mountain pass between Meteora and Metsovo in Greece
Daily budget: €30 (met with flying colors, thanks to Robin for teaching me how to live cheap, and thanks to the generosities of the ones who crossed my path on the road)
Longest period without a shower: 9 days, riding from Budapest to Krakow
        
Number of accidents: 4
2 self induced:
once got my handle bars caught on Robin's pannier while riding too close to him and bailed in Lido di Ostia, Italy
once got my rear tire caught on the curb lip of a right turn lane on the hwy and bailed in Gdynia, Poland
2 stupid driver induced (both times my bike took the hit and I didn't even fall over):
once got backed up onto while crossing a merging lane in Budapest, Hungary
once got squished between a parked car and a car that suddenly decided to turn head first into a parking spot in Brussels, Belgium

Number of flat tires: Lost count in Albania, i.e. many       
Bike mechanical problems (Sorry Robin, this is going to hurt!):
    o Replaced front tire once and rear tire twice
    o Replaced all break pads at least twice
    o Replaced front derailleur cable in Croatia
    o Replaced chain in Croatia
    o Although I was recommended to change my rear wheel completely due to worn bearings     in Hungary, I got away with replacing only one piece of nut on my rear hub axel many kms     later in Germany
    o Removed the worn weather seal from my bottom bracket in Italy (end of the trip)
 
Hardest cycling day: riding into Palermo in the cold rain storm, with the wind blowing sideways, while dodging Italian drivers
Hardest personal moment: Saying goodbye to Robin in Koblenz
A few sweet memories:
    o Being what felt like rescued from Sicily by Patrick and Catherine in their VW van
    o The taste of the stew we had at the restaurant in Ioannina, Greece. The best dineout meal     ever, and our drunk waiter had no problem snorting and mooing to help us order.
    o Albanian farmer handing me a handful of one of my favorite summer fruits as a child, as I     pass him by on my bicycle. The fruit doesn't exist in Canada. It's called "Gojeh Sabz";           literal translation: Green Tomato. It looks like a little green tomato, crunchy and a little sour     and best when eaten with a pinch of salt
    o Meeting up with Kasia and Sean (university friends) in Warsaw, Poland
    
Favorite (cycling) countries: Greece, Slovenia, Poland, Germany, Switzerland, France
Worst cycling countries: Italy, Albania
Best encounters with locals: Greece, Albania, Poland, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France
Best supermarket food: Greece, Germany, France
Most courteous drivers: Germany, Switzerland
Places I would like to experience life in: Paris, Venice, Berlin, Barcelona, Vienna
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Comments

rbruce
rbruce on

Just a memory
So sad for me to see it all wrapped and packaged 'cosi'.

Mey dar kafe man neh ke delam dar táb-ast
V-in omre goriz-páy con simáb-ast
Daryáb, ke áteoee javáni áb-ast
Xooedár, ke bidáriye dwlat xáb-ast

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